Woodley declares Raiders to be a playoff team

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It’s still 0-0 time in the NFL, with every fan of every team able to conjure hope for the coming season, plausible or otherwise.  Raiders fans, already buoyed by an aggressive pursuit of veteran free agents, got more reason for hope on Tuesday from one of the new arrivals.

“I can definitely see [us] as a playoff team,” linebacker LaMarr Woodley told 95.7 The Game on Tuesday.  “Last year going back and watching some film on the Raiders, there were a lot of opportunities here where they just didn’t close it out.  Some games good in the first half; they just didn’t close it out at the end of the game.  So now we just have to learn how to close out games and it’ll be more wins than losses.”

The Raiders closed it out against Woodley’s old team, the Steelers.  Otherwise, the Raiders had plenty of struggles.

This year’s potential struggles become a lot more tangible on Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. ET.  Though the Raiders’ opponents for 2014 have been known since the moment the 2013 regular season ended, the specific list of weeks and dates and times comes soon.

Perhaps that’s when Raiders players and fans will realize that, in 2014, the Raiders play three games against last year’s Super Bowl teams.  Five games against the four conference finalists.  Nine games against teams that made the playoffs in 2013.

And 12 games against teams with non-losing records a season ago.

That’s the end result of facing the Broncos twice, the Chiefs twice, the Chargers twice, the Seahawks, the 49ers, the Patriots, the Cardinals, the Rams, the Jets, the Bills, the Rams, the Dolphins, and the Browns.

Yes, every year is different.  For the Raiders, every year since 2003 has been the same.  This year’s schedule suggests it won’t be easy to break the cycle.

148 responses to “Woodley declares Raiders to be a playoff team

  1. The Raiders should have won more games than just four last year. Three games, the Colts, Redskins, and Giants, stand out as games the Raiders should have won. That would have put the Raiders atleast 7-9 to finish the season.

    The Raiders did pretty well for having “the worst roster in the league” last season, but they didn’t close out games and then lost steam after the Steeler game.

  2. It looks to me like Dennis Allen and Reggie McKenzie loaded up the cannon this offseason in hopes of getting a good enough record to not get the boot. The Raiders schedule this season is brutal though, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the last we hear of those two in Oakland.

  3. The Raiders what a dirt ball organization with dirt ball fans. Why is it every time you see a raiders fan it some white trash looking guy in a faded out Tim Brown jersey?

  4. The strength of schedule that is hung around the necks of a 4-12 team like this needs to stop. The league needs to start random schedules. Not AFC west vs NFC south etc. Play each team in your own conference twice then go random. The Raiders have the most difficult schedule in the league..again. BS

  5. He didn’t “declare them a playoff team,” he said he could see them making the playoffs and that they need to learn how to close out games. Can’t see how anyone would feel outrage over that.

  6. obvious he never played for the bottom feeders of the NFL before – rude awakening dude

  7. However many games they (not WE) win with that schedule, they’ll earn every one. And they’ll win more games than the Vikings

  8. I can see them getting 8 or 9 wins if they can beat all 3 division rivals at least once. Its gonna be a tough division and things will have to go their way if they wanna make the playoffs.

  9. It ALL starts with a WINNING ATTITUDE. Players like Woodley, Tuck and James Jones are accustomed to winning a lot. Hopefully that leadership will pay off for the Raiders. Don’t see playoffs next year but I do see the playoffs in 2015.

  10. After 20 years as a season ticket holder I wish he was right.realistically I don’t even see him being there at the end of the year. Just like McFragile he will be on the bench in street clothes.

  11. He also said the Ravens would not win a Super Bowl in his lifetime. Obviously he’s still in a daze.

  12. @nuclearwarfare

    Hate when people say that a team “should have won more games last year.” Obviously they should not have due to the fact that they did not win those games. Every team has extenuating circumstances. Stop making excuses for the past and just focus on this year.

  13. Add to previous: It was 21-3 Raiders before Bottom Third Ben got his usual 4th quarter garbage time garbage touchdowns to make the game seem closer than it was.

  14. swaggyy says:
    …In madden, after trading for Brady, AP, Watt, Revis, Sherman, and Megatron


    The computer is smart enough to reject all those trades.

  15. Well, keep the faith Raider fans, he’s still got 4 months to pass a drug test……

  16. Not a Raider fan, but I have to admit they are one of the few teams that people care about one way or the other..like the Irish or the Yanks, no matter the season; they matter. Despite their record, people comment. I remember when Gruden and Gannon were running things and they marched down the field without fail week after week..then the dark years hit, yet years after mediocrity, people still care. Despite the fact that they are one of the worst performing teams in the league, i am oddly jealous. Because people still care about them one way or the other. They are not irrelavant which many teams seem to be these days….

  17. Not a Raider fan, but I have to admit they are one of the few teams that care about one way or the other..like the Irish or the Yanks, no matter the season; they matter. Despite their record, people comment. I remember when Gruden and Gannon were running things and they marched down the field without fail week after week..then the dark years hit, yet years after mediocrity, people still care. Despite the fact that they are one of the worst performing teams in the league, i am oddly jealous. Because people still care about them one way or the other. They are not irrelavant which many teams seem to be these days….

  18. The sky is blue and the team I play for is going to make a deep playoff run and probably even win the Super Bowl. C’mon, when does a player or coach ever say something along the lines of:

    “We’re going to be pretty average this year. We really sucked last season, but we did enough in free agency that we can win two, MAYBE three more games this year. But we’re still looking at sitting in January and a top-15 draft pick in 2015”

  19. Add the Cowboys and Titans to that list that they should/could have easily won. As bad as the record looks, they have been in a number of games the last few years but always seem to find a way to lose the close one’s. He has a point, close out games strong, and they have a much better record and perception.

  20. im tired of all the trash talk we Raiders get on the regular but if you look at everything we’ve been through not that im making excuses but cap wise and every bad pick that Al made any team would suck but we’re going to start turning heads starting this season

  21. He didn’t guarantee playoffs….he said it’s possible. What else is he supposed to say?

    All professional athletes should be confident. Was anyone expecting him to say he can see the team going winless?

  22. What was the Raider’s record in 2010 and 2011 and what week were they eliminated from playoff contention?

    Not too special, but above ” the same as every other year since 2003″

    Why you gotta be mad, bro?

  23. The Oakland Raiders are a wishy washy excuse for a nfl franchise. Just consistently bad year in, year out. Drew Brees on the other hand is on the verge of throwing for over 5000 yards yet again! Lol dats because da saints are a way better team/franchise then the stinkin’ oakland raiders.

  24. Why bother actually paying attention to what happens in the games when you can analyze hyperbole and stereotype?

  25. These Raider fans are insufferable.

    Always going off on games they “should have won”. Well, you didn’t. That means you lost. Scoreboard, standings, look at them. They don’t lie.

    They have a brutal schedule, the AFC West and the NFC West compose 10 of their games. No way they get to .500 this year. Take it to the bank.

  26. And he did not “declare” anything. He said he can see us being a playoff team.

    Wtf was he supposed to say?

    Something like….”No, actually not. We are pretty much drawing dead in week one. “

  27. “Woodley declares Raiders to be a playoff team”

    And playoff teams declare Woodley to be a few sandwiches short of a picnic basket.

    In all seriousness he’s doing nothing more than toting the company line and hoping that his “experience” will be infectious to his younger teammates. No harm in that.

    However, they do have the HARDEST schedule in the NFL next year and if they fall flat (which is very likely) they could be looking at another blow-up situation where GM, coach & all the 1-year rental players are all gone in which case it’s more years of futility for the silver & bleak.

  28. As we all know the same teams make the playoffs year to year and there are never any surprises in the NFL. Also what is he supposed to say that they plans on winning 4 games again? Every player in the NFL thinks they have a shot at the playoffs at this point.

  29. Unfortunately, a team has to win a lot of football games to make the playoffs. Sadly, a player on the team can’t just declare playoff-team-status into existence.

  30. I should add, I’m not predicting a playoff team this season, but an improved team on the verge of the playoffs.

  31. The Raiders have always had a mystique about them when you think there down and out they pull off the upset …yea theres been a bunch games that got away but they were in the lead til 4th qt..it wont surprise me if the Raiders find themselves in playoffs this season with these veteran pick ups and bottom line is there hungry.

  32. Hope springs eternal in Jokeland. This is Raider’s fan favorite time of the year. Then comes the season.

  33. Lamar, you also said that Joe Flacco would never win a Super Bowl about4 years ago. Stick to nursing your endless string of injuries and leave the prognosticating to someone else.

  34. Tuesday’s headline: “Woodley declares Raiders to be a playoff team”

    Wednesday’s headline: “Lamarr Woodley detained for loudly arguing with squirrels and wearing newspapers for pants in public park”

  35. My questions to him are: does he know who he is playing for and their record of 10 or more losses for 11 straight seasons? does he know his QB’s nickname is “pick 6”? does he know there were 3 other playoff teams in his division last year? does he know HIS best days are long behind him in Pittsburgh?

  36. Before anyone gets excited it’s good to note that Woodley also predicted:

    * He’d be in shape every season
    * He’d be just as motivated to perform just as well AFTER he signed his huge contract
    * He’d be a pro bowler (maybe he meant a professional bowler)

  37. Woodley hasn’t made a big play since 2008 when he weighed in at something less than three bills.

    He’s got a chance to be an All-Pro if he can convince James Harrison to come to Oakland and play linebacker on the other side.

  38. The raiders had trouble closing games out last year, hopefully with the addition of the vet’s they will be able to finish them. Don’t forget that the Raiders have at least 8 new starters and SS Tyvon Branch will be back in starting line up after being injured a game and half into the 2013 season. This is a different team, that will mean more wins, possibly the playoffs!!

  39. You can clearly see where the downvotes from posts about the Raiders not winning more than 5 games come from.

    I mean seriously. If they won more than 5 game then Woodley would be right, but he’s not.

  40. Come on Woodley u leave Pit and say that about Oaktown u crazy foo Y would u go to a team like that they suck and u know that man smoke another peace out Smokey

  41. We would have been a playoff team last year if…,

    A)we had a QB to pull out those close games.

    B)We knew how to stop a no huddle uptempo offense.

  42. Matt Shaub is a crutch for the utter lack of a QB, the same move cost hue Jackson a head coaching gig a couple years ago with a .500 record. If the raiders don’t draft a top receiver or two and some youth on D we’ll never break even let alone make the playoffs. It’s winning season or go home for Dennis Allen though, Reggie Mackenzie has more wiggle room. Not that it matters because the Raiders will be playing in whatever city builds them a stadium soon anyway

  43. I see nothing but trash talking here when everyone’s team has had their bad years. examples Dallas, from 1986 to 1990 without a winning season, 2000 – 2003 finished 5-11 each 3 years. The 49ers, from 1973 – 1980 only 1 winning season, then again no winning season between 2003 – 2010. I could go on and on with every team with the bad stats but point proven that every team has had there dry spells at one point or another. I’ve seen a few say the Raiders hasn’t finished with a .500 record in 11 years which is false. they did just do that back to back in 2010 and 2011. Here is a little fact for knowledge for you all. The Raiders win lose record over all is 434–375–11 and is the best record for the NFC west division. That division has seen 14 Superbowl appearances which the Raiders also leads that category as well with the most wins 3-2 and is ranked in the top 10 – 32 teams with overall win lose percentage. But i do agree that the 11 years since the Superbowl that which was handed to the Bucs do to giving them Jon Gruden, has been long overdue and i think they’re finally on the right track thanks to Reggie. Al Davis the icon that he was did screw thinks up the last 5 or so years but with the schedule the Raiders have this year depending on those teams that did good last season do the same this year should prove that point if they do end up with an 8-8 record or better which i think they should. They have a talented team and if the injury plague can stay out of Oakland this year they will have that chance to prove it.

  44. Im a steeler fan and its a shame. I thought woodley was going to be great. But he turned out to be 1 “big fat” disappointment! If you are sensing that the raiders are a “hungry” team? Its because woodley is! We Called him Buffet buster in pittsburgh!

  45. Says the man that will likely come into camp 25 pounds overweight… You were great when you cared for the game and had Harrison forcing the O-line to cheat his way, but you lost something in the last few years Lamarr…

  46. woodley is over the hill. just trying to come in with a veteran presence and make a confident statement. terrell suggs of balt, after denver loss in wk 1, said the same thing. how did that turn out.

    oak may improve but won’t make playoffs. when projecting such an outcome, one has to first look at the path thru the division. afc west is tough. 3 playoff teams last yr. denv will be good again. SD will probably be good again. kc may take a step back. with andy reid, that roster will get a little worse each yr. plus kc last some guys in FA. but i just can’t see oak breaking thru yet.

  47. jaygruntboston says:
    Apr 23, 2014 12:37 AM
    My questions to him are: does he know who he is playing for and their record of 10 or more losses for 11 straight seasons?….NO, he looks at as a 3X Super Bowl champion franchise

    …… does he know his QB’s nickname is “pick 6″?…..NO he knows he has made a couple Pro Bowls and has one of the highest completing percentages in the history of the NFL

    ……. does he know there were 3 other playoff teams in his division last year? NO, he knows NONE have them have 3 Lombardi Trophies

    …….does he know HIS best days are long behind him in Pittsburgh?…..NO, says who? A KNOW nothing moron like yourself

  48. “On the verge of making the playoffs” means absolutely nothing. They are still the worst team in that division and until they find a good QB, they will continue to be the worst team in that division. Still pitiful when a team in your own division (the Chiefs) went from good to bad to good. And in that same timespan, the Raiders haven’t had more than 8 wins in a single season.

  49. Sounds like somebody needs to change the tin foil in his helmet.
    It would take an NHL style playoff format in order for the Raiders to make it.

  50. See how you took his thoughts on potential “I can definitely see [us] as a playoff team,” and changing it to an untrue madeup statement? “Woodley declares Raiders to be a playoff team”

  51. Well at least Woodley’s prediction doesn’t go as far as Joe Bugel’s ’97 claim that the Raiders were primed to “win multiple Super Bowls” (they finished 4-12 that year).

    Honestly, I just want to see the Raiders playing competitively and with heart from week-to-week. If McKenzie can manage a good draft then with the veteran acquisitions/upgrades the Raiders may flirt with .500 even with the tough schedule.

    Respectability earned on the field always speaks louder than bold-yet-empty verbal proclamations.

  52. People here are really dumb. You guy’s keep talking about last year and year before ect ect. NONE OF THAT MATTERS. Chiefs were 2-14 then went 10-15..
    It does not matter what a team did the previous season.. Look at the seahawks have they been a power house in the last decade? They are The Champs now so you easily forget about all that huh?
    If Matt Schaub can play like he did 2 years ago this Raiders team can not only make the playoffs but they can win the Superbowl.. People like to also forget that ESPN, THIS WEBSITE, NFL network and others picked TEXANS to win Superbowl last year with a healthy Matt Schuab

  53. ^^^^ Your “you people are really dumb” post shows your questionable analytic skills (I’m not going to use the word “dumb” in reference to you) because you are saying that IF Shaub can play like he did 2 years ago. That’s a hell of a big IF given that the other three teams in that division have good QB’s (you must have at least a decent QB in todays NFL to win) and the Raiders are still looking for theirs. That alone doesn’t give much them much hope as far as overtaking the Chargers, Chiefs, and Broncos (who all as reminder to you are not in an “IF situation regarding their respective QB’s). Therefore, your “dumb” reference is the pot calling the kettle black based on your “IF” scenario.

  54. I thought the Ravens schedule was challenging last year, but this is tough. Can’t blame players and coaches in saying they are good enough to make the playoffs. If they go into the season thinking they are not competitive then that’s what happens.

  55. In other news Woodley has been suspended for a violation of the league’s drug policy…they’ll at least test him more for his statement.

  56. The Raiders can make the playoffs IF: 1. they stay healthy 2. Schaub has a big comeback year 3. The veterans gel and they get off to a hot start . $. The have KO other teams QB like Manning and Rivers . George Allen went to the Superbowl with the 1972 Redskins “OVER THE HILL GANG ” The Raiders can be a Wild Card Team especially if Clowney or Mack falls to them @ #5 in the draft . IF the defense plays really well and keeps the games close in the 4th quarter anything can happen because they have Seabass to make long game winning kicks. All the jealous haters can post & spew their venom . The past is the past and the game is played on the field , not in the media .

  57. Faith and optimism are the building blocks of a winner. The Raiders success in 2014 like every year is how good the O line turns out. The O line is the key unit to football as it protects the QB in the pass game, establishes the run which takes the pressure off the defense, insuring they are not gassed out for the 4th quarter. Of course injuries play a huge part so quality depth is very important and that is why the Raiders need to draft Gregg Robinson if he is available or the next best O lineman.

  58. Don’t like the Raiders, but in all fairness the only reason they finished last in 2013 is that they didn’t have a good QB like the other three teams in that division. When the Broncos collapse on Peyton’s retirement in likely 2015 or so then the Raiders can definitely move up…Alex Smith is no Peyton and Phillip Rivers had an epiphany last year and got help the last game of 2013 season (thanks to collapse of Dolphins!) to make playoffs…they won’t be that lucky again this year. Plus the Raiders play a weak AFC East, and I can see them beating at least two of those teams (but not the Pats…they play Fins in Oakland, but Fins tend to do well again them in Oakland). Playing the AFC West though is a bummer…

  59. Woodley also said the Ravens would never win the Superbowl with Flacco as the QB.

    Flacco then proceeded to set NFL passing records on his way to a NFL championship and SB MVP.

    Hope he’s a bit more accutate this time, at least for the sake of Raiders fans.

  60. As was stated , the man said he ” could see ” them being a playoff team . It wasn’t a guarantee . Besides , who wants players on a roster who come into camp knowing the schedule and declaring losses because of who they’re playing ? What else is he or any other player on any other team supposed to say ?
    ” oh we CAN’T make the playoffs , have you seen our schedule ? ”
    Football is a mental game as much as it is physical . The teams that do well are the teams that believe they can beat anyone , any sunday . When the Raiders won the superbowl in 1980 , they were coming off back to back 9-7 years and in decline . They started that season 2 and 3 and everyone had them dead and buried . What changed was the team’s belief in itself and they went on and won it all . That won’t happen this year but why shouldn’t they go into the season believing they can win every sunday ? If they don’t believe , what’s the point of playing the game ?

  61. I wonder how many of these people (i use that term loosely) posting here putting down the Raiders… how many of the teams they root for have won 3 or more SB’s.

    Or one for that matter. I saw some fool from the Chargers! Another from the Vikings! Really? Falcons?
    Huh? Pick on a team when they are down, i get it…but some of you will never know what it’s like to root for a SB champion!

    At least win some Sb’s before you start trashing the history of a team that’s won some.

    Every team has had and will have lean years. 8-8 years. 4-12 years. Hell Niners had a 2-14 year!

    It happens. At least the Niners and Raiders both know what it’s like to win the big prize! Some of the other teams i mentioned above and their judgmental fans… not so much!

  62. I dont know what’s funnier… Woodley’s bold prediction or San Diego fans nuttin up… I will take my last 10 years of being a Raider fan any day over your 50+ plus years of irrelevance. Stay classless San Diego!

  63. Here’s a list of notable players to get a sense of the Raider line up, who will be on the field –

    Offense: Schaub, MJD, McFadden, Reece, James Jones, Rod Streater, Denarius Moore, Andre Holmes, Mychal Rivera, + upgraded offensive line (Wiz, Howard, Boothe, Watson, Bergrstrom, Barnes, Penn) + new Rookie weapons (perhaps Sammy Watkins or Mike Evans?)

    Defense: Tarell Brown, Carlos Rodgers, DJ Hayden, Charles Woodson, Tyvon Branch, Usama Young, Sio Moore, Nick Roach, Lamar Woodley, Justin Tuck, Antonio Smith, Kaelin Burnett, Pat Sims, + Incoming rookies (Khalil Mack? trade back for a safety or DT?)

    It’s definitely a much better roster on paper. Will be interesting to see how they gel and if they can start producing consistent play right off the bat.

    It’s a tough schedule, and the division may have only gotten better. Denver, KC, and SD have not really lost anybody, will be adding some upgrades, and have a another year of guys that have been working together for awhile.

    Don’t count Oakland out though. It’s the NFL, and this roster is a team of guys that will surely come to play on Sunday. Their best bet may be drafting Khalil Mack and bringing the house every week. Pressuring the qb in the AFC West is a must

  64. One of the most important aspects in “closing out games” if you want to win them is, have the lead. Most teams find this to be the biggest problem when they “close out” games and end up losing the game.

    There can never be enough emphasis placed on outscoring your opponent consistently.

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